Proposed labelling laws could prop up Bay seafood industry
A HERVEY Bay seafood company is just one of many that would benefit from proposed new food laws.
The laws, pitched by Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington during her visit to Hervey Bay yesterday, would require labelling of where the produce was caught.
Ms Frecklington said the LNP would introduce legislation requiring product origin labelling on any seafood for "immediate consumption".
Touring Hervey Bay's Australian Ocean King Prawn Company facility yesterday, Ms Frecklington said the labelling laws would protect local jobs and businesses.
"The fishing industry is so important to regions like Hervey Bay and our policy will support local businesses, protect local jobs and give consumers greater choice," Ms Frecklington said.
"Unfortunately I think two thirds of seafood in Queensland at the moment is imported and I think if you walked down the street in Hervey Bay and gave people the option they would put their hands in their pockets to buy local seafood.
"Demand for seafood is huge at Christmas and I want Queensland produce to come first."
Ms Frecklington said the policy would amend the Food Safety Act and a similar policy had already been implemented successfully in the Northern Territory.
Australian Ocean King Prawn Company owner Stephen Murphy said the number one question they were asked when people came in to buy was if the food was local.
"Most people really want to know where their food comes from," he said.
"We employ 80 people in our boats and factory so you are supporting local jobs."
Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen said the entire seafood supply chain in Wide Bay would benefit from the LNP's labelling policy.
"An enormous 30 million kilograms of seafood was imported into Queensland in 2017-18 and businesses currently don't have to label where it came from," he said.